Why do you think there are so many Belgian players currently playing in the Premier League?
It's just that we're good players with the right mentality. The teams here have confidence in us.
Did you talk with your Belgian teammates like Fellaini about the Premier League?
The Premier League is one of the strongest in the world and England is all about football more than Spain and the Bundesliga. If you talk about football you talk about the Premier League and the stories I heard from Vermaelen and Fellaini were so positive. That is the reason I came here. I spoke to Thomas at Arsenal and Rafael van der Vaart. I wanted to know what Tottenham was about. They were all very positive.
Why was it the right time? There were a lot of stories about you going to Newcastle and Arsenal...
There were a lot of stories, but I had achieved everything in Holland that I could. Tottenham came at the right moment for me. I talked with Rafael and the chairman gave me the right feeling here.
They were already talking about the pressure on the manager here if you didn't win at Reading. Do you find more pressure here?
Were always under pressure at Ajax. We were expected to win every game. When you are playing in a strong team there will always be pressure. I am used to it. We have a strong team here and the results will come. I am confident about it.
How different is playing in the Premier League to playing in |Holland?
There were games in Holland when you knew you could win five or 6-0. But here you play against West Brom or Norwich and it looks like the toughest game in the world. There is not a weak team in the Premier league and we have to work hard for 95 minutes. That is the most different and it was the same at Reading. But we have a strong team and I am confident.
What do you realistically think you can win this year?
I hope we can win a prize. I think the goals are maybe the Champions League qualification, we'll see. At the top of the league in England everybody can win and everybody can lose that is what we have seen before. We hoped that we would have more points than we have at the moment but I think everything is possible this season.
Is there pressure on the manager?
No, not at all. For us we are very confident with the manager and everybody is happy with him. He has good training sessions. We were just a little bit unlucky with the first few games but for us there is not a big pressure and not on the manager either.
Were Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric a big loss?
Of course it is a loss because they are very strong players, I played against them in my last two games against Holland and Croatia. They are just amazing players for every team but I think we have got a few strong players back in the same position so I don't think we are weaker but we just have to adapt with each other.
Of course there is a lot of pressure with Moussa (Dembele) and Clint (Dempsey) but they showed last year that they are amazing players at Fulham. Clint scored like 15 or 16 goals at Fulham and Moussa, I don't have to talk about him, because he is just an amazing player too so I think they can help us. I have played with Moussa since I was very young with Antwerp and since then he was an amazing player. He played as a striker then and he is not a real goalscorer that's why the big teams didn't see him before I don't think. But he's an amazing player and he will convince everybody.
Will Mousa [Dembele] take over from where Modric left off?
I know he can, I think I know him the best in this team and everybody in Belgium and every player that has played with him is convinced about his qualities.
Is there something about the Belgium system that is producing so many good players?
I think we are just lucky, I don't think there is really a system like there is in Holland or with Ajax. I just think we have a good squad at the moment and we have played together for two or three years now. Now we have to try to make it to a World Cup because none of us have ever played at a big tournament.
Is it possible to win a World Cup?
I think we have the players to win it but I think we have to play together for a few more years to really adapt and to get results done. But I hope we can go to the World Cup and then everything is possible, you can already see that our opponents are playing differently against us.
Having spent so long at Ajax, do you regard yourself as a product of their system rather than Belgium's?
Yes I do. Before I went to Ajax, when I was 16, the team I played for, Royal Antwerp, already had an agreement, they play the same style of play so I think I'm an Ajax product.
Did you deal with Dennis Bergkamp?
Yes, he was my assistant coach last year. He's doing okay. He's a great person and of course he's experienced at the top level.
How's your relationship with Thomas Vermaelen, given the rivalry between Spurs and Arsenal?
I don't talk to him anymore (laughing). No, of course not. I played with him at Antwerp too and we were at Ajax together. Before I came to England I came to see a few games - not Arsenal, just Thomas - he's just a friend and I think it will stay that way.
Were you aware of the rivalry?
Yes, he told me it was like Ajax and Feyenoord. They're big rivals but when I walk down the street even the Arsenal supporters have been very respectful.
What did Bergkamp say about you joining Spurs?
I don't want to go there (laughing again). No, he was just joking. He likes a joke. He knows Tottenham is a big club too. He's a very good guy and I get along with him very well. He was very positive about both clubs and about London, and he just said make your choice.
Have you been able to get our around London?
Thomas has shown me a little bit and Mousa [Dembele] of course, he has been here a couple of years. I've just ben on international duty so now I've not had too much chance to explore London. I was looking for a house and a car and then it was international duty and I was focusing on the games, so that will come in the future.
When you see a training ground like this, how far are you away from being one of Europe's elite clubs?
Not that far away. We just need a few good results and a few good seasons in a row. If you see the squad individually we have amazing players, so we can compete with every club.
You are known for scoring goals - has the manager given you licence to get forward?
I had a good chance against West Brom and I needed to score the goal. But no, not really. When I feel I can go through the midfield and give myself a chance I will go, but it's not my main aim to score 10 or 15 goals a season.
What do you consider your best position?
Central defender. Before I played for a long time as a defensive midfielder and I'm playing left-back now for Belgium because we don't have a left-back and we have strong centre-backs, so I think I can play those three positions.
Who will take the free-kicks out of you and Gareth Bale?
I told him I would take them on Sunday and he said, 'No, I will', so we'll see who's the boss. But Gareth can score amazing free-kicks from long distance too, he's an amazing guy. I think Gareth is No.1 on the list, but he's a good guy so he will give me a chance too. We're both strong from long distance and Gylfi Sigurdsson has a strong free-kick too, but it doesn't really matter.
With the players having had a taste of the Champions League, can you detect what a blow it was to not be in there this season?
Yes, of course, you always want to play in the toughest league. We're in a tough group in the Europa League now. It was shame we didn't qualify for the Champions League because Chelsea won the competition - it's the most beautiful competition - but it didn't affect my decision to come here.
Why did you choose Tottenham over other clubs?
Because they gave me a good feeling. Daniel Levy did and I talked with Rafa van der Vaart, and they invited me here and gave me the best feeling in the world and from that moment on I said to myself, 'I want to play here'.
You were also linked with Arsenal?
There were some things but I'd already made my decision in my head that I wanted to play here. I'm not like switching all the time, I make my decision and then I go for it. I wanted to play here so it was simple.